By BONIFACE MULU
The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Kitui County members conducted their branch elections recently where the County Executive Secretary Benjamin Kioko Mutia retained his seat.
The elections were conducted at the Kitui Multi-purpose Development Training Institute where the Kitui County Labour Officer Bernard Mbuvi was the presiding officer at the event.
Mutia garnered a total of 1,185 votes to defeat his rival Philip Maluki Maanzo who got 1,072 votes. And Augustus Mulwa Mutuvi is the new chairman where he succeeds Philip Maluki Maanzo.
He scooped out a total of 1,358 votes to trounce his two rivals Susan Lucia Lulu (787 votes) and Benedict Wambua (112 votes). Joseph Wambua Syengo emerged the Assistant Executive Secretary seat winner by gaining a total of 1,324 votes against his opponent Evans Musili Musyoka’s 933 votes. And regarding the treasurer position, Gregory Kasikali Mbwang’a gained some 1,624 votes to defeat his rival Paul Mwendo Muasya who captured a total of 633 votes.
Dickson M. Muthui won the vice chairperson seat through a total of 1,245 votes with his rival Patrick Munyao Kyengo getting 1,004 votes.
Others are the assistant treasurer Joseph Kaisali with 1,202 votes where he defeated his opponent Patrick Musembi Muthoka who got 1,042 votes, Fredrick Onyango Odhiambo who gained 1,194 votes as the organising secretary by trouncing his rivals Peter Musee Kimwele (850 votes) and Vincent Mutua Alois (217 votes) and Ben Musyoka Kilonzo who won the tertiary secretary seat position with 1,204 votes.
Kilonzo defeated his rival Joyce Wanjiku Mwanzia who garnered a total of 1,046 votes. The secondary secretary seat was won by Maryanne Kasemba Paul with a total of 1,339 votes where she defeated her rival Kuvuuka Benson Beka who gained up some 933 votes.
And Juliet Mwikali Kimotho got 1,410 votes as the gender secretary where she defeated her opponent Cecilia Ndanu Joseph who scooped a total of 843 votes. The KUPPET national office had been represented at the function by the union’s National Secondary Schools Secretary Edward Obwocha and the union’s National Gender Secretary Catherine N. Wambilianga and who is also the Bungoma County Women’s Representative.
In his speech, the County Labour Officer Bernard Mbuvi thanked the KUPPET members for conducting peaceful campaigns and elections.
In his speech after having retained his executive secretary seat, Mutia highly thanked his fellow members for returning him to office. And he assured them that he will continue serving them effectively and efficiently as their county executive secretary.
He announced that currently the KUPPET members in Kitui County are about 3,500. The KUPPET Kitui Branch was started by Joshua Nyamai Mutembei in 2002. And being the pioneer executive secretary, he (Mutembei) served from 2002 to 2006 when he was replaced by Stephen N. Kimwele.
His successor held the office from 2006 until 2011 when the branch became the county office under Benjamin Kioko Mutia. Kimwele retired after becoming a secondary school principal.
During the 2016 county elections that were held at the Kitui Multi-purpose Development Training Institute, Mutia went in unopposed. And addressing the media, the KUPPET National Secondary Schools Secretary Edward Obwocha complained about the increased indiscipline among the school children in the country.
“We (the teachers) are supporting the education ministry’s proposal to bring back the caning just to deal with the indiscipline in schools,” the KUPPET official said. And he asked the government to protect teachers against attacks by the students.
“They are attacking us. They are killing us. We have no security in schools. They are armed with knives and all manner of weapons,” Obwocha added. The caning was banned in the country by the government in 2001.